March 29, 2013

Awake thou wintery earth....

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

I blush to admit, but with such an early Easter this year, I am running behind.  So far behind, in fact, that I still have my Christmas Dickens Village displayed in my family room!  With such a snowy winter, it didn't seem too out of place to have the village still up, since the large windows behind the village showed a backyard filled with snow.  But really, there are limits and this afternoon it needs to be dismantled and packed away.  I hung my spring wreath up this week, and hopefully I will also have time to finish up the Easter napkins I wanted to make before Sunday.  If I'm successful, I'll share them with you next week.  If not, I guess it will go into my project box until next year!  Considering I haven't planned, shopped or prepared anything for Easter dinner yet, I think the napkins may be 'iffy' at best.  Thankfully, dessert is covered as my daughter is planning on making her special cupcakes, and I can't wait to taste them!  She is a true cupcake queen.

Today, to help me get in a spring-ier frame of mind, I'm sharing with you a few of my favorite vintage Easter cards:


Easter Sunday calls for ham and lots of springtime salads and desserts.  Before dinner, though, it will be time to put on my Easter bonnet and sing the hymn below in church.  This hymn by Charles Wesley, more than anything else, defines this holiday for me.  While it brings loved ones to mind, and inevitably tears to my eyes, it is the promise that those we miss so much live on, and we will all be united again. I wish all of you, my friends and family, a blessed weekend.

 Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! 
 Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia! 
 Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! 
 Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia! 

 Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia! 
 Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! 
 Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia! 
 Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia! 

 Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! 
 Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! 
 Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia! 
 Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia! 

 Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia! 
 Following our exalted Head, Alleluia! 
 Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia! 
 Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

March 28, 2013

Hattitude...profile it, style it, then let them wow it

I simply would not be doing justice to the topic of hats if I didn't mention how much I love Sunday go-to-meeting church hats.  When I taught school in South Dakota my good friend (and beloved kindergarten teacher of all my children) and I used to pore over hat catalogs, dreaming of wearing the amazing hats so colorfully displayed on the pages.  But alas, South Dakota congregations don't attract a lot of chapeau adorned worshipers, unless you count all the winter headgear, which I most assuredly do not.

No, what Mary and I dreamed of were hats with style and pizzazz, and no one did it better than the queen of respect herself, Aretha Franklin, when she wore this showstopper while singing My Country Tis of Thee at President Obama's 2009 inauguration ceremony.  

In fact, Aretha's hat caused such a stir that a book of poems were eventually written and assembled into a book called Think: Poems for Aretha Franklin's Inauguration Day Hat.  How many hats end up with their own book?!  Here is poet Glenis Redmond's contribution to the book, titled Symbol:

The power of air and ancestors
flung History’s door wide.
We could see
America becoming more Beautiful,
a painting resembling King’s dream
awakening on the lawn,
multi-colored hues cutting the cold.
How the crowd seemed bewitched and amused
more by Aretha’s hat, than the song.
How the hat held the eye.
How the eye held hope,
a shape of wings perched and poised
to the sky predicting
A Change is Gonna Come.
God Bless Aretha and that Hat.

A few years ago our local historical society featured a stunning display titled Church hats from the Black Community, featuring a collection of hats owned by Miss Annie Mae, who must have had one heck of a closet!  Moving from Mississippi to Milwaukee in the early 1930s, she worked as a beautician and with the money she made at her job, she bought new outfits—and hats.  After her death, her daughter-in-law honored Miss Annie Mae's memory by putting her hat collection on display and letting women and girls try them on. The success of that event led to more formal exhibits at the Overture Center in Madison and the Milwaukee County Historical Society. After the exhibits came down, the hats were auctioned off so that other women could wear them, and the proceeds went to the group Women in Focus,  which helps support the education of minority youth. (source)

Miss Annie Mae's hats on display

There were more than 70 hats in the display!
I am not alone in my love of hats.  Photographer Michael Cunningham beautifully captures this Sunday tradition in his book Crowns, which chronicles this convergence of faith and fashion that keeps the Sabbath both holy and glamorous.  And if you ever have the chance, you might want to check out the off-Broadway play adapted from this book, Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats, which opened to rapturous reviews in Atlanta and New York and combines soul-stirring gospel song with movement, music and personal memories, and offers a spirited look at the faith and fashion statements made by church hats. The play offers this advice on wearing a hat: etiquette (no hat borrowing), style (you shouldn’t look lost in it), and attitude (you have to have one in order to wear a hat well).  But I really don't have to flip through catalogs or attend an exhibit to admire spunky church hats, as I am lucky enough to have beautiful women in my own family that know how to tilt that church hat and wear it with pride, like my sweet minister sister-in-law:

and my lovely mother-in-law:

With Easter right around the corner, I hope we all can either wear a hat with pride or enjoy seeing one on someone else.  Let's develop a little 'hattitude'!  Here is a second poem by Glenis Redmond because, well, because its fun and it made me smile!  I hope you enjoy it too. 


by Glenis Redmond

Sistahs have always been able to style in hats.

You know they got it going on.
Those women can wear hats from dust ‘til dawn.

You’ve got to be bold and have snap to sport a hat.
You’ve got to have it and know where it is at.

You’ve got to stop and cock it to the side.
Check them out and continue with your stride.

Profile it. Style it.
Then let them wow it.

Tilt it, lean it, or wear it straight in place.
A well worn hat is a symbol of grace.

You have heard people say it. I have too.
“Oh, she can wear a hat.
She sho’ ’nough knows what to do.”

Oh, a hat can get those oohs and aahs.
If it is totally bad, it gets applause.

Some hats are so bad, they are just bad to the bone.
People stop and say, “that girl has got it going on.”

Or say “You just go girl, you just go on, girl,
‘cause with that hat you’re the finest thang in the world.”

Big ones, tall ones, small ones, fruity ones,
pointy ones, veiled ones, flowered ones
sporty ones,
polka-dot ones,
plain ones,
and kufis too!

Lean it,
            cock it,
style it,
            profile it,
                                    tilt it,
                                                 tip it,
                        check it,
            sport it.

Do you dare to wear?
How do you fare?
Do you want to be bad to the bone?
Then, get you a hat and get it going on!

March 27, 2013

You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade

"When you wear a hat, it is like medicine for the soul.  The hat is the expression of who you are as a women in every moment!  The hat is your dreams of who you can be.  It facilitates the different parts of who you are:  With the wave of the hat, voila!  You are, you are playful."

In case you wondered whether I was exaggerating about my love of hats yesterday, I thought I would give you a little peek into my closet todaySome women collect spoons, or tea cups, or figurines (and I have my fair share of all of those!), but I collect hats.  I can't resist them.  I just wish there were more places to wear them, as my daily life certainly doesn't require the glamor of a hat.  More's the pity, in my opinion!

Hats and weddings just seem to go together, don't they?
My sister and one of my brothers at another sister's wedding
 "With the right hat, nothing else matters."
Evidently this was my go-to wedding ensemble one year; with a good friend at her son's wedding in Maryland

"I myself have 12 hats, and each one represents a different personality.  Why just be yourself?"
At my nephew's wedding in Pittsburgh, accompanied by my charming husband and brothers-in-law
 "Luxurious, flirty and at times a bit sexy.  We're out to prove a great hat can change your day."
At a Kentucky Derby fundraising gala with my husband...I love this hat!
Probably the most interesting thing about my hat obsession is that I am really quite an introvert, more of a 'watcher' instead of a 'doer', the one who prefers to stay in the back of a room and quietly sip her punch while everyone else is partying merrily.  But when I put on my hat, something changes.  And that's part of the fun of life, isn't it?  I'm sharing this great observation from humorist Erma Bombeck today.  I may not be 80 yet, but when I am I'll have my purple hat ready!

Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a Queen.
Age 8: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella.
Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an Ugly Sister (Mom, I can't go to school looking like this!)
Age 20: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly"- but decides she's going out anyway.
Age 30: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" - but decides she doesn't have time to fix it, so she's going out anyway.
Age 40: She looks at herself and sees "clean" and goes out anyway.
Age 50: She looks at herself and sees "I am" and goes wherever she wants to go.
Age 60: She looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who can't even see themselves in the mirror anymore. Goes out and conquers the world.
Age 70: She looks at herself & sees wisdom, laughter and ability, goes out and enjoys life.
Age 80: Doesn't bother to look.
Just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the world. 

March 26, 2013

In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it...

I, my friends, have a 'thing' for hats.  I adore them. I'd wear them every day but I think I would freak out my work colleagues. My fascination with hats started when I was a young girl because my mother wore beautiful hats with swooping feathers that sat at a rakish angle on her lovely hair.  I wanted to grow up and be just like her.

Mother and I, Easter 1958
I adore big, gorgeous hats like Marian's in The Music Man,
or Judy Garland's in Easter Parade:

or more recently, Theodora in The Great and Powerful Oz:
But my love affair with hats didn't have an auspicious beginning.  I was ten and very eager to enter the Easter Bonnet competition at our local Carnegie Library, pictured below.  It was a wonderful old building, and the children's department was the entire basement.  You had to go behind the large, imposing front steps and there, tucked away behind the stairs, was the door to the basement.  Once you were safely inside, a world of books waited to whisk you away to any continent you dreamed of, or even into another galaxy if you preferred science fiction.  But that particular spring it wasn't books calling my name, it was the dreams of glory of taking the coveted first place for most beautiful Easter bonnet.  And these weren't just any old bonnets, oh no! They had to be completely handmade, from items around your house.
So with youthful optimism I sat out to craft the most splendiferous hat imaginable, and my dad was my willing accomplice.  To this day I have no clear recollection as to why my dad was helping me with the bonnet, as he worked very long hours and was seldom home, but home he was on that important Saturday morning.  We were excited and optimistic and rather giddy about the whole process.  But the one thing we were not, was crafty.  We used a yellow plastic wash tub (yes, we did!  why we thought this was a good idea, I have no clue) and Dad drilled little holes all over the tub (did I mention it was yellow? and plastic?) and we stuck artificial tulips in all the holes.  And somehow rigged up a green velvet bow, ala Scarlett O'Hara, minus the winsome charm.

What I thought I was wearing:
What I was really wearing:
except this image looks better, I think.  A little less garish, a little more refined.  I couldn't find any yellow tubs and plastic red tulips on google--even the internet knows it's not a tasteful combination.  Long story short, I did win a ribbon that long ago day at the library's annual Easter Bonnet party!  It's still tucked away in a scrapbook....first place for funniest hat.  Not exactly what Dad and I had in mind, but it's a precious memory all the same. 


Easter Parade

In your easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it,
You’ll be the grandest lady in the easter parade.
I’ll be all in clover and when they look you over,
I’ll be the proudest fellow in the easter parade.
On the avenue, fifth avenue, the photographers will snap us,
And you’ll find that you’re in the rotogravure.
Oh, I could write a sonnet about your easter bonnet,
And of the girl I’m taking to the easter parade.

March 25, 2013

You are always on my mind....

Hah!  Bet you thought I was going to write about my husband, or my kids, or maybe Willie Nelson (although I do have a cute Willie Nelson story, but that's for another day).  No, something else has been on my mind lately, and with Easter just around the corner, it's time to talk about really important topics, like banana pudding.

I kid you not...on Facebook and Pinterest over the weekend there must have been over a dozen different postings about banana pudding, so clearly I am not the only one whose thoughts are turning to spring and delicious desserts.  I grew up eating my mother's banana pudding and have made it many, many times for my own family, so I admit to thinking I was a bit of a banana pudding expert.  Much to my chagrin, I was proven wrong!

True husband and I were vacationing in Tennessee a couple of years ago, and had stopped in at a small convenience market to pick up a couple of staples before heading back to our cabin to cook supper.  I was waiting for my husband to pay for our purchases and was idly looking at the small refrigerated display case, where little tubs of banana pudding were displayed.  Another tourist, seeing where I was looking, came over and emphatically exclaimed that I HAD TO BUY the banana pudding.  She went on and on about how wonderful it was, and shared that she and her husband had been stopping in each day on their vacation to buy a fresh tub. So when my husband came over by me I told him we'd been instructed that we HAD TO BUY the banana pudding.  The store owner volunteered at that point that it was made fresh each day by his wife and mother-in-law, and claimed it was the best pudding in the world. 

So later on that night, while we were relaxing on the beautiful deck at the cabin watching the stars warming up their twinkles, my husband went into the kitchen and came back out with the tub and two spoons. Feeling rather skeptical, we tasted the pudding and.........

Remember that classic scene in the 1984 sci-fi movie Starman, starring Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen, where Bridges (an alien who is stranded on earth) takes his first bite of apple pie?  And his face just kind of melts into this HUGE satisfied grin?
Well, heck yeah, that was us!  The store owner and the tourist were right, this was THE BEST banana pudding in the world!  And we went back every single afternoon until our vacation ended to buy a new tub.  No amount of cajoling would wrestle the top secret recipe out of him, but he did finally admit that there was cool-whip in the pudding, plus a special vanilla pudding from Pittsburgh.  So once we got home I 'googled' (is that a proper verb now?  if not, it should be, because I 'google' all the time) and I found Paula Deen's recipe, which is pretty darn close to the perfection we tasted in Tennessee.  So if you have not run across the recipe before, I've posted it in my Recipes tab, just in time for Easter or a spring brunch.  Maybe it's not the most elegant dessert (think more along the lines of 'down home cooking') but the taste just can't be beat.  What's not to love about a recipe named Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding?!

So now you are probably wondering how on earth I'm going to incorporate a poem into today's post?  I must admit, it's a bit of a challenge to find poems about banana pudding, even really amazing banana pudding, but as luck would have it, I did find a poet who wrote a short article on villanelles, a French poetic form that has repeating lines and rhymes.  And, one day while musing on the subway, she realized that banana pudding was in fact much like the composition of a villanelle--seemingly complex but actually quite simple in construction. 

The poet, Karin Gustafson, shares that "Although the dessert, a layered concoction of creamy custard, banana slices, vanilla wafers, and whipped cream, seems very elaborate, it is in fact made with a relatively small number of ingredients, several of which are prepackaged (as in the vanilla wafers and the bananas).  What the recipe does require, however, is planning;  i.e. your pudding needs time to set, your bananas must be more or less uniformly sliced (and not too soon before assembly); your cream whipped, your wafers unboxed.  Without that planning, the whole concoction is flat, runny.

Which is amazingly like writing a villanelle.  Because you really do need to spend a bit of time getting your repeating lines right, and choosing flexible rhymes. Otherwise it will just collapse. But once you have your base ingredients ready, the assembly is really quite fun. Unfortunately, villanelles, like many poetic forms, seem to have fallen from fashion in modern poetry. Some critics might even say that villanelles, like Banana Pudding, are essentially a Trifle. (As in an English confection of sherry-soaked cake, fruit, custard, cream. All I can say is that Trifle, like Banana Pudding, is pretty terrific stuff." 

I couldn't agree more, so here is today's poem, a fun little villanelle for your reading pleasure.  It celebrates spring, and surely if we start the celebration now spring will decide to drop by for a visit?

in Just-by E. E. Cummings

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame baloonman

whistles      far      and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old baloonman whistles
far      and      wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and


 baloonMan      whistles

March 24, 2013

Door County finale

Welcome to the final day of Act Happy Week!  I've saved my husband's choice for what makes him happy for today, and I'll also be sharing this over at Mockingbird Hill Cottage as a favorite thing, because Door County, Wisconsin is one of our very favorite destinations and it makes both of us very happy indeed.  No need to 'act' happy while we are strolling by the beach and camping under the stars--we are happy!
We've always been a camping family, and although there are many great campgrounds near our home, we prefer the longer drive to get away from it all and spend our weekends visiting the great little villages that make up the Door County peninsula--Fish Creek, Ephraim, Sister Bay, Ellison Bay, Egg Harbor and others. Each village is small, no more than one thousand or so residents, and each offers its own particular charm, whether it is a great margarita and sunset at JJ's in Sister Bay, or an amazing strawberry ice cream cone at Wilson's in Ephraim.
Or how about Swedish pancakes with lingonberries at Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant, famous for not only the cuisine but also for the goats on the restaurant's roof!

And at some point in your visit, you have to try a Door County fishboil, where whitefish, potatoes and corn on the cob are boiled together outside in a big old pot, served up with a flashy, fiery finish and a piece of Door County cherry pie for dessert!

Door County is famous for its beautiful cherry orchards, which results in cherry jam, cherry preserves, cherry scones and muffins, and best of all, cherry pie.

My husband and I stop to pick up a cherry pie in Fish Creek before we even set up camp at the state park!

But while the food is amazing (no restaurant chains are allowed in Door County) the best part of Door County is the beautiful scenery, gorgeous in every season.  We spend our days hiking, flying kites over the beach, exploring quaint little antique stores, and at night we are entertained by wonderful actors at several of the professional theater companies in the area.  And we always end our days by watching the sun go down in a fiery burst of color, followed by a campfire and a piece of that great cherry pie.  And that, my friends, makes for a happy day!

We have a brand new tent ready to go for this summer, so now all we need is for the snow to go away and warm weather to arrive, and I'll have a whole new set of Door County stories and photos to share with you!  In the meantime, while this poem by Linda Gregg isn't about camping or cherry pies, it does convey that sense of wonder I feel when I'm camping and look up at the vast sky filled with stars.   I ran across it this weekend and thought it was so breathtakingly beautiful that I wanted to share it with you as another favorite thing. 

Fishing in the Keep of Silence

There is a hush now while the hills rise up
and God is going to sleep. He trusts the ship
of Heaven to take over and proceed beautifully
as he lies dreaming in the lap of the world.
He knows the owls will guard the sweetness
of the soul in their massive keep of silence,
looking out with eyes open or closed over
the length of Tomales Bay that the egrets
conform to, whitely broad in flight, white
and slim in standing. God, who thinks about
poetry all the time, breathes happily as He
repeats to Himself: there are fish in the net,
lots of fish this time in the net of the heart.

Enjoy other favorite things here at: 

March 22, 2013

Me and you and you and me....

Last night was perfect....what a great way to wind down my celebration of Act Happy Week!  My daughter and her fiance' came to town (ninety miles one way) and my son and daughter-in-law drove in to have dinner with us (forty-five miles one way, after a busy work day.  I felt honored.)  Unfortunately my husband had to work, but as I sat around our kitchen table, eating pizza and watching all my children laugh and talk and interact with each other, I realized we were all at that moment experiencing what made each of us happy.  My daughter had our dog snuggled on her lap, son number two was happily sharing the new movie trailer he had made, and my other son was relishing our three hours around the table (yup, three hours!).  And of course, as always, we all laughed when the conversation inevitably turned to movies.  It always does.  And my daugher-in-law laughed too, because she has become used to our family idiosyncracies, especially our passion for the silver screen.  And watching her laugh and enjoy herself brings me to what makes my oldest son happy....his wife.

They met in college, both studying to be physical therapists.  Classmates first, then friends, then best friends, then husband and wife.  And they are just so darn cute together!  What more could I ask for my son when I see her eyes light up when he walks into the room and I hear in her voice the love and pride she has for him?

And did I mention, they are just so darn cute together?

A long, long time ago my mother and I were taking the 'night shift' on one of our family vacations.  We had left South Dakota about 5 pm and were driving through the night to visit our Indiana relatives.  Dad and my siblings were sound asleep, and I was happily ensconced as co-captain, charged with keeping Mother entertained while she drove.  We were looping around Chicago, and discovered that the one radio station that was on in the wee hours of the morning must have had a disc jockey that took a break...a long break...because Happy Together by the Turtles was playing over and over and over again.  We started singing along, and of course as the song kept repeating we couldn't help but start giggling harder and harder.  It remains one of my favorite memories...just my Mom and me, speeding through Chicago in the dark, singing along with the Turtles.  But even if the song is now an 'oldie' I really think it lightheartedly sums up the essence of what makes my son so very happy...the girl he loves and holds so tight. 

Happy Together by The Turtles

Imagine me and you, I do
I think about you day and night, it's only right
To think about the girl you love and hold her tight
So happy together

If I should call you up, invest a dime
And you say you belong to me and ease my mind
Imagine how the world could be, so very fine
So happy together
I can't see me lovin' nobody but you
For all my life
When you're with me, baby the skies'll be blue
For all my life

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it has to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together

May the rest of your week be filled with all the good things that bring you happiness!

March 21, 2013's a good thing

We've made it to Thursday---have you participated in Act Happy Week?  Has it made a difference?  I think it has for me--I've tried to be deliberate with my actions and my thoughts this week, choosing to have a positive attitude and surround myself with people and things that make me happy.  Of course it was extra easy to be happy last night...I came home to find supper totally prepared by my son who is home on spring break.  Buffalo chicken soup was simmering in the crockpot, a homemade apple cake fresh from the oven was cooling on the kitchen counter, and a yummy apple/grape/walnut/honey salad was in the refrigerator.  Oh yeah, that made me really happy!

Video games.  Cell phones.  I-pods and Mp3s.  HDTV.  I-pads.  I-phones.  I-anything.  Laptops.  Notebooks (and I don't mean the spiral kind).  Skype.  You-tube.  Facebook.  IM.  Google.  I asked son number two what made him happy and his reply was technology.  I try to stay informed as best I can but there has been such an explosion of new technologies in the last decade that it could be a full time job just staying abreast of all of it.  Fortunately, I can leave that to my son and it makes me happy that I have a tech 'go-to' guy in my own home!  The other night he was patiently explaining about his computer's memory capacity...megabytes and kilabytes and I was really trying to undersand, but I think I relate better to the poem below than I do to computer hard drives!

Remember When ...A Poem About Technology
James S. Huggins

A computer was something on TV
From a sci fi show of note.
A window was something you hated to clean
And ram was the cousin of goat.

Meg was the name of my girlfriend
And gig was a job for the nights.
Now they all mean different things
And that really mega bytes.

An application was for employment.
A program was a TV show.
A curser used profanity.
A keyboard was a piano.

Memory was something that you lost with age.
A CD was a bank account.
And if you had a 3 1/2" floppy
You hoped nobody found out.

I've spoken before how sons number two and three can do a lot of work on their movie trailers long distance--kind of a 'I'll have my people talk to your people' thing, except it's their computers that are doing the talking.  I have even on a couple of occasions discovered them playing chess in a virtual world, while they are ninety miles apart!  And truly, technology makes life so much easier in so many ways.  Certainly, without it we wouldn't have the opportunites to forge new friendships with people around the world through facebook and blogs.  My nephew is studying in Sardinia this year, and the capability to Skype has kept both him and my sister and her family in close touch.  And I love knowing that I can reach out to my mother and my college kids via texting or calling with my cellphone at any time, no matter where I am. 
I've heard so many (grumpy) people bemoan the fact that 'all this technology is mucking up our world', but I politely disagree.  Certainly there is a downside, but it has enabled all of us to reach out around the world and realize that we are becoming a global society, not an insular one.  And I believe that the more we can discover that we aren't so different after all is a very good thing. 

I happen to really admire the gifted violinist Joshua Bell, and just yesterday I came across an interesting article about how he uses technology to navigate his complex world of performance and travel.  If you are interested in reading this article, here is the link (ah yes, 'links'...another great tech advancement!)

And while I normally don't put so many links in my blogs, it somehow seems appropriate for today's post.  So here is a link to a beautiful little video that will bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart.  It guarantees that watching it will make you 'instantly 100 times happier'.  I'd settle for ten times happier!

And finally, here is my son's suggestion for the best tongue-in-cheek poem about his love for technology, from the off-beat movie Napolean Dynamite.  As another song reminds us, today let us "Don't worry, Be happy!"

March 20, 2013

Mine, says the cat....

Well here we are, midway through Act Happy Week!  And let me tell you, it's taking some heavy-duty acting on my part, what with five new inches of snow in my driveway and negative double digit wind chills blowing through my yard!  Spring is being quite the tease this year....

Today's post comes from my lovely daughter.  I asked what made her happy, and she replied that coming home after work and seeing her fiance' curled up with her cat, Jade, makes her happy.
No real surprise girl has been loving animals for as long as she's been on earth!  It all started with a dapper purple dinosaur:
 and from there she progressed to roly poly bears:
followed by the Cat Family.

Once she made the leap from picture books to real books she was on to the new best thing, Catwings!  I found the books a little creepy (I tend to find most of Ursula Le Guin a little creepy) but my daughter was entranced with the series.

Her note to Santa when she was five asked for only one thing--a puppy of her own to love and take care of.  And so Belle arrived, a little ball of white fur with a heart as big as the sky.  

They were inseparable for nearly fourteen years.  

And when Belle's time on earth was ended, we welcomed Willow a few months later. But Willow is our family dog, and didn't make the trip to college....
so it really didn't come as a big surprise when a month after we settled her into her first college apartment she called to say she had found a new love at the humane society.  Ms. Jade has now carved out her own place in my daughter's heart. I think my daughter is looks like her cat makes her very happy indeed.

The cat’s song

Mine, says the cat, putting out his paw of darkness.
My lover, my friend, my slave, my toy, says
the cat making on your chest his gesture of drawing
milk from his mother’s forgotten breasts.

Let us walk in the woods, says the cat.
I’ll teach you to read the tabloid of scents,
to fade into shadow, wait like a trap, to hunt.
Now I lay this plump warm mouse on your mat.

You feed me, I try to feed you, we are friends,
says the cat, although I am more equal than you.
Can you leap twenty times the height of your body?
Can you run up and down trees? Jump between roofs?

Let us rub our bodies together and talk of touch.
My emotions are pure as salt crystals and as hard.
My lusts glow like my eyes. I sing to you in the mornings
walking round and round your bed and into your face.

Come I will teach you to dance as naturally
as falling asleep and waking and stretching long, long.
I speak greed with my paws and fear with my whiskers.
Envy lashes my tail. Love speaks me entire, a word

of fur. I will teach you to be still as an egg
and to slip like the ghost of wind through the grass.

                                               Act Happy!  Have a wonderful day, my friends.